My First Holy Grail Item!

It’s been a week of solid testing and, I’m excited! Meet my first ever holy grail item!

This is a facial oil by A’pieu called Essential Source Rose Hips Facial Oil. I love it. I use it as an occlusive moisturizer at the end of my evening routine to seal in the moisture on my face. I’ve been using it almost daily for a week now, and I really, really love it. It has some amazing properties that I really wasn’t expecting.  According to the review by Chrubasik et al, rosehip oil contains Vitamin C, a host of beneficial fatty acids (linolenic, linoleic, palmitic acid to name a few). How rosehip oils is prepared also matters, because Concha et al found that cold-press extraction of rosehip oil increased the retinoic acid content of the oil by over 7 times compared to a solvent extraction process. (Retinoic acid is a precursor to Vitamin A.) If you want more information on the wonders of rosehip oil, start with the two articles I list at the end. They’re a good starting point for research – and opened my eyes to all the crazy things that rosehip oil contains and has been measured in a lab. There’s also scads of research on rosehip oil that you can find through google, but it’s not held to the same standards as academic research. I’m a graduate student with a heavy research background, so my bias is going to fall towards academic research. Grant-funded research is supposed to be unbiased and unflinching, so it’s my go-to source for when I’m intellectually curious about what’s going on with – well, everything.

Anyways, aside from the magical properties of rosehip oil that’s supposed to contain measurable amounts of vitamin A, C, and E as well as host of fatty acids. Here’s the ingredient list for A’pieu Essential Source Rose Hips Facial Oil from CosDNA:

Rosa Canina Flower Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,  Hydrogenated Polydecene, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Punica granatum seed oil, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera Seed Oil, Kyounin Yu, Tocopheryl Acetate,  Glyceryl linoleate, Glyceryl linolenate, Glyceryl arachidonate, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance

Of the ingredients listed, Simmondsia Chinesis Seed Oil and Kyounin Yu are rate at a 2 out of 5 for causing acne according to CosDNA. CosDNA describes Kyounin Yu as an apricot seed extract. Simmondsia Chinesis Seed oil comes from Jojoba oil, which can be an irritant for some. It’s rated 0-2 out of 5 for being an irritant, which tells me how it’s extracted probably makes a difference along with who’s using  it. Some lucky people may not be irritated by  it, some people may break out. Individual chemistry matters. That said, I did notice that I had a few white heads pop up around my nose after 4 to 5 days of solid use on my face. The whiteheads could have also been caused by my vigorous massaging of the facial oil, which I’ll describe next. Or it could have been my skin purging because of the retinoic acid content of the oil. Who knows for sure?

The white heads were pretty tiny, and I could live with them especially given all the other wonderful properties of this facial oil. I had a total of 4 white heads. 3 of them are gone, and only one looks like it might scar because I was bad and picked at it. (Bad me!) Speaking of this oil, I was so surprised to find that it extracted sebaceous filaments and clogs very easily for me. I remember the first day I got the courage to try it out on my face. I was gently rubbing it in when I felt a few tiny grits. I looked at my fingertips and there were tiny plugs! I then spent the next 5 minutes standing at the mirror and seeing how many more I could (maybe not so gently) rub out of my skin. This was absolutely fascinating to me as I barely got any clog removal from trying out this method of cleaning pores. I’ve since stopped rubbing quite so vigorously at my skin and noticed no new whiteheads.

Most of the time I use it at night as a final step to my routine. Sometimes I apply too much oil, and I’ll use a blotting tissue to remove the excess. Usually, it absorbs into my skin in 5 to 15 minutes, leaving my skin feeling soft and hydrated. I’ve been using this facial oil for 9 days straight now, and it’s been wonderful at keeping moisture in my skin. The skin around my eyes and temples no longer feels tight. Even better – it’s been fading my scars! FOR REAL!

I had started testing out the oil in my wrist to see if I had any reaction to it. This is where I did my patch testing, on some skin I had scraped while we were fixing up the new house. This is the day after I had scratched up my skin and applied the Rose Hip Facial Oil to it. Notice how dark, angry, and bumpy my skin is. This  photo was taken at night, as a quick afterthought when I realized I’ll probably want a comparison photo.

This is after a week of solid use of the A’pieu facial oil. I applied the rosehip oil faithfully at least once a day, sometimes twice. This was taken today, with lovely sunlight streaming through the window so I look paler and so do my scars. But the lightening of my scars isn’t just from better lighting, it’s from the oil. My poor wrist was so irritated that I couldn’t bear to wear my usual Fitbit Charge HR on my left wrist as is my habit. I had to wear it on my right wrist for 3-4 days while the sensitive, scraped skin healed. I’m back to wearing my fitbit on my left wrist, thanks to the rapid healing of the skin on the inside of my wrist.

Isn’t that crazy? The review by Chrubasik et al mentions that rosehip oil has some skin healing properties and anti-scarring properties that make it useful for cosmetic purposes. It’s one thing to read about it in an article and see it mentioned quite a bit in a google search on rosehip oil, it’s another thing to be able to physically compare how it helped my skin heal while reducing the hyperpigmentation that occurs so frequently when I scar.

Last but not least – the scent. I was slightly disappointed by the scent – the oil does not smell like a cloud of roses in constant bloom. I kinda wish it did, since it is rosehip oil, but rose hips don’t smell like roses. We have at least 3 different rose bushes in our yard that produce rose hips and none of those rose hips smell like rose petals either. I still love this oil though. To me, it has a slight floral fragrance with a hint of rose. Take ALL of my scent recommendations with a large grain of salt. I have a a terrible, horrible sense of smell – as many of my friends noted.

 

Summary: Holy Grail item status. I purchased this item through RoseRoseShop, but it is also available through Amazon.com. It lightens hyperpigmentation on my face and body, is a great occlusive moisturizer, and surprisingly cleans out pores. The last property was most unexpected for me, and will probably result in me experimenting with pure rosehip oil for a cleanser.

 

Resources

Chrubasik, C., Roufogalis, B. D., Müller-Ladner, U., & Chrubasik, S. (June 01, 2008). A systematic review on the Rosa canina effect and efficacy profiles. Phytotherapy Research, 22, 6, 725-733.

Concha, J., Soto, C., Chamy, R., & Zúñiga, M. E. (September 01, 2006). Effect of Rosehip Extraction Process on Oil and Defatted Meal Physicochemical Properties.Jaocs, Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 83, 9, 771-775.

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